Tag Archives: yarra valley

Day 4 – Yarra Valley

After a good night’s rest, we managed to get the boys fed and shooed out of the door by 9ish. The Healesville Sanctuary was a 5 minute’s drive from the apartment. There were really few visitors when we arrived.

We purchased the tickets and also added the option to feed kangaroos at $12 per person. It had seemed rather pricey at the gate to fork out $110.60 for 2 adults and 1 child. Furthermore, the $12 only allowed you to feed 1 animal. If you wished to feed koala bears, wombat and others, it would be an additional $12 per animal per person!

The lady at the counter suggested that we feed the kangaroos as it would be more engaging and fun. Koala bears were always sleeping and not very friendly. She was right!

At the stipulated time, we waited at the kangaroos’ area for the zookeeper. We were told to feed only the young ones as the adult kangaroos could be very aggressive. Actually, the younger ones were pretty active and demanded for the hay. There were dried corns which got the kangaroos even more excited. They ate off our hands and no matter how excited they were, they were gentle in eating off our hands. Z really enjoyed himself at the feeding. I guess that made the 3*$12 well spent.

Petting a kangaroo after a feed (at $12 per pax)
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Posing with the roo
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Healesville Sanctuary was pretty huge. It was much bigger than the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney. There were a lot of conservation tips on how we could protect the environment so that the wildlife animals had a better place to live in. There was even an animal hospital where injured wildlife could be admitted to. They would be cared for till they recovered. When we were there, there were no injured animals but the hospital was caring for newborn animals such as a baby wombat. Aww… so cute!

At Animal hospital
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The hospital had amazing equipment such as an operating theatre, patients’ rooms and more. We continued the walk to see more animals such as Tasmanian Devil, wombats, wallabies and more. The display panels were informative and there were many keepers on site who were really helpful in explaining.

We also caught a ‘Birds of Prey’ show where the eagles & macaws took to the sky. It took us almost 4 hours to finish the trail. By then, the boys were hungry. I popped into the souvenir shop to take a look and X made a beeline for the sunglasses’ stand. We picked out 2 pairs of sunglasses and were checking for new stocks when the terrible toddler managed to smash a souvenir mug in the store. The folks at the store were very sweet and did not even blink an eye, nor chid X for doing so. Neither did they even ask us to pay for the broken mug.

We felt more obligated to purchase the sunglasses. Once we paid, we hurriedly got out of the store and drove over to Bella Vedere for lunch. It was a restaurant based in a vineyard. While the wines were average, the kitchen churned out delicious meals. We ordered 3 entrees for Z and us since X had his porridge and conked out. We had the pork belly, trout and breaded scallops at $55.

The awesome lunch at Bella Vedere
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After lunch, we drove to Yarra Valley Chocolatier & Ice Creamery. It was a large establishment and we could see bus loads of tourists at this place. There was free chocolate sampling at the door. To be honest, I was not too impressed with the taste and quality of chocolate.

However, there was a huge glass window which allowed visitors to see how chocolates were made. We could follow the manufacturing chain along the window. The merchandising display was very colourful.

The making of chocolateIMG_7954.JPG

 

We ordered 3 scopes of ice cream and settled down at the bistro. The ice cream was good but if we compared it to Timboon’s, it was worlds’ apart. There was an open space outside the bistro where there were huge balls for the kids and adults to play. We ended up playing for a really long time because the kids were so amused.

Having a ball of a time at Yarra Valley chocolatier
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We drove around the Yarra Valley region and checked out the Tarawarra Vineyard as well as the Blueberry winery. The wines made from blueberries were quite nice. Unfortunately, we would be flying to Tasmania and we were trying not to buy anything prior to our domestic flights.

 

Chilling at Tarawarra vineyard estateIMG_7974.JPG

 

After the vineyards closed at 5pm, we brought the kids to the local playground. They played for nearly an hour before we brought them over to Innocent Bystander (1 minute’s drive away) for dinner.

Playground at Healesville’s Queens ParkIMG_7977.JPG

Dinner at Innocent BystanderIMG_7983.JPG

The decor at Innocent Bystander was industrial and you could see their huge barrels of alcohol (wine) behind glass panels. The foods were served in tapas or entree style for sharing. We ordered grilled steak, grilled chicken, truffle fries and pizza.

Though it came highly recommended and rather alternative in terms of flavours, I thought the food was a tad too salty. We could also have been too stuffed to enjoy the food. I wished the food could be served faster too because X got so restless from the waiting that it made us hurry through dinner too.

Day 3 – Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley

We had to drive over to Yarra Valley from GOR and it was going to be a 4 hours’ drive.

Hence, everyone had to wake up at 7am and hit the road by 8am. Z was very sad about leaving the farm because he enjoyed playing with Andy so much.

X, on the other hand, was pretty oblivious but very happy that the cats would not be following him around anymore. He was afraid of the cats because they were so big and kept brushing against him. The cats also seemed to enjoy making him cry! 😂

En route to Yarra Valley, we stopped over at McDonalds to pick up breakfast at 9am. Since we got up so early, the kids snoozed all the way till the foot of Mount Dandenong because we went to Woolworth to buy fish for X’s porridge.

The good thing about having porridge with us was that X could have a proper meal in the car regardless of where we were. Z was old enough to take other snacks but he also liked to tuck into comfort food like porridge at times.

We went to the famed “Pies in the Sky” for lunch and tried their Gold Medal award winning pies. I loved the tandoori chicken pie but could not quite say the same for the Australia meat pie. I was really not a fan of minced meat.

We had a takeaway for the tandoori chicken pie and intended it for breakfast the next day. We backtracked the path to Miss Marple’s tearoom for scones. I had thought that they only served tea snacks but they actually offered main courses too! I was too full so we stuck to the scones.

The English-looking tea room
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The raspberry jam was fabulous but I was not impressed with the scones. Give me TWG scones any day.
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Pretty teapots sold next door
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We went up to the Dandenong Summit. It was a very hot day but it was raining in other regions so we could not have a clear view.

There was a Giant’s chair at the summit
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We drove over to Cherry Hills Orchard but was disappointed that it was closed till Nov/Dec. Late October was the season for picking strawberries, not cherries. Even blueberries was in another month or so too.

We hopped over to the nearby Warrantina lavender farm. It was also too early to see any blooming lavender but I did pick up some lavender products and we hung out at the picturesque farm.

The pretty farm, which would probably be a lot more prettier when all the lavender had bloomed
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We drove to Healesville because we booked Healesville apartment (18 Symons road) for a 2 nights’ stay. We placed our luggage in the beautiful and clean apartment before heading out to its little town to check out dining options.

I loved this apartment and boy, at A$170 a night, it was definitely a steal.
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Z had been complaining of pain during urination since afternoon. We saw a pharmacy and thought we could pick up some medication to ease the pain. However, the dispensary recommended that we bring him to see a doctor instead. Given that it was already 6pm, the main clinic had closed. Though the town was so small, there was a late night clinic a few doors away. We managed to bring Z when it opened at 7pm and it was a suspected case of UTI or skin infection. Either way, Z had to take antibiotics and there was no point for him to do an urine test because the results would not come back in time.

However, the local chemist was closed and we had to drive to Lilydale (15 minutes away) to pick up the medication.

It was already 8pm when we got there. When Mr H left the car to grab the medication, I googled for places to eat in the area and decided that Chinese cuisine would be more appetizing for the poor boy.

We ate at Oriental Paradise which was not too bad. The pan fried scallops was good, so were the other dishes. With a satisfying meal, we returned to Healesville slightly before 10pm.

Late at night, very late dinnerIMG_7906.JPG